DeafWire Edition – 23 March 2024

Weekly DEAFWIRE news recaps

Full DEAFWIRE videos can be seen



Gallaudet releases statement after protest

Gallaudet University recently released a statement following the recent event that Hillel, an on-campus Jewish organization, hosted, which was faced with pro-Palestine protesters. Deaf Israeli Rabbi Yehoshua Soudakoff visited Gallaudet to host an “Ask Me Anything” event for students, staff, alumni, and the local Deaf community who were interested in learning about Judaism, and what it is like being a Jewish university student. While this event took place, there was a demonstration outside the classroom the event was hosted in, protesting against Rabbi Yehoshua’s presence on campus. In their statement, the executive leadership team of Gallaudet stated this violated the university’s policies on expressive activities and assemblies. According to the statement, the protesters were given a designated space to express their demonstrations, however, the protestors “did not protest in the space provided.” The statement explained that designated spaces help the university to navigate the balance between providing a space to conduct expressive activities with the need to keep order and the campus community safe.


Deaf TikToker killed while protecting mother

A famous Deaf TikToker with more than 415,000 followers, Orlando Galindo, also known on social media as “Landito”, was recently shot and killed as he tried to protect his mother in an armed attack. Galindo, who was only 26 years old, was well known on TikTok as he used the social media platform to teach sign language, making him a respected figure in the community. The attack leading to Galindo’s death took place at his mother’s clothing store. Security footage showed a man who walked into the store and looked around as if he was a shopper. 

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AI technology used to empower Deaf

The Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) School of Communication has recognized some of the barriers that Deaf and hard of hearing people face in their everyday life in Hong Kong. In an attempt to address these barriers, they have started a project using artificial intelligence (AI) to explore AI solutions for automated sign language translation. Some of the main issues that this project aims to address are the inadequacies in accessibility and communication. For example, in Hong Kong, Deaf people do not have equal access to captioning on TV. Sign language interpreter Cat Fung Hiu-man, said that captions on TV were limited and should offer a more comprehensive description of what was being captioned, such as sound effects and who is speaking. Deaf man Anthony Cheung explains that some TV channels have sign language interpretation, but interpretation is limited by the knowledge of the interpreters. 

The Old Fogeys

See this week’s cartoon.

THE OLD FOGEYS – View cartoon


Coldplay experience

The Coldplay concert was set up at the Philippines Arena. It was a long walk to get there. Once we arrived, we received supported tickets which meant that we could access the VIP area of the concert. The VIP area was close and had a great view of the stage. The first Coldplay performance was so thrilling that I had goosebumps all over me. It was because of the music, lights, fireworks, vibrating wristbands and the audience singing. Us Deaf people had access to an interpreter. When I first heard of Coldplay, I didn’t think much of it, but when the first performance happened I was standing close to the stereo which gave me the best vibrations throughout my body. 


Accessible contents

My vision for accessibility is to ensure it happens in every concert, not just Coldplay performances. Not only this but also the concerts broadcasted on TV needs to be accessible too. There needs to be a plan, like an SOP, which can be modified according to the events. This plan can be used as a toolkit, which is also useful for preparing interpreters for performances. This is because often interpreters start from scratch when they are invited to interpret performances. 

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